Death penalty by hanging

Are capital punishment and pro-life views inherently at odds? Yes, argues a guest writer to the ULC blog.


The following guest sermon was submitted by ULC minister Daniel Oyama. All ULC members are invited to contribute their own sermons for consideration/publication. To submit a sermon, please email it to sermons@themonastery.org.

A Bloody Business

In the moments before Kelly Gissendaner was executed in Georgia back in 2015, the convicted murderer sang “Amazing Grace” as she awaited her early demise. At the final hour, a plea came in from Pope Francis to the state’s Christian governor asking to spare her life. It fell on deaf ears.

The deeply religious state of Arkansas made national headlines last year after it put four inmates to death in the span of eight days – although that proved to be fewer than the eight executions that ambitious state officials had wanted to carry out following the Easter holiday. The great state of Texas – the proverbial buckle of the Bible belt – has executed 555 people since 1982, including just over half of the 19 executions that have taken place in 2018.

Pro-Life Hypocrisy

But here’s a curious thought: these same Christian politicians and legislators who adamantly support capital punishment keep winning election after election virtue-signalling about their so-called “pro-life” views. How does that work? How can someone retain any shred of moral consistency when they condemn abortion in one breath, then turn around and cheer the death penalty in the next? How have so many Christians come to rationalize capital punishment as compatible with a religious message that says all lives have inherent value?

By continuing to support the death penalty, these folks allow their own country to reside in the uncomfortable company of authoritarian states like China, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia – all of whom readily executed their own citizens. Missing from that list? Nearly every other developed Western country.

Do All Lives Matter?

Perhaps it is easier to defend the innocent. And there is nothing as innocent as an unborn child. Defending murderers, sociopaths and serial rapists is a tougher spiritual sell.

And yet it’s one all Christian leaders must make. For all the Catholic Church’s own faults, Pope Francis has become a moral beacon for Christians worldwide by calling for an end to the death penalty – just as Mother Teresa and Sister Helen Prejean did before him.

True pro-life Christians of all stripes need to take a good hard look in the mirror and figure out why it’s so difficult from them to forgive death row inmates who, in a decent majority of cases, have confessed to their crimes, reformed and spent years healing the wounds they have caused. Many have done so by bringing the Lord into their lives.

Have We No Compassion?

It’s easier to keep a safe distance. Bars, cells, prisons…all have a way of dehumanizing the individuals behind and inside them. Maybe Christians should do what Jesus would do were he still around and actually visit these sinners. Hear them out. Pray with them.

This is what being pro-life should really be all about; allowing the weakest amongst us to be given a good reason to believe in their own.

In the same New Testament so many of our nation’s devout hold sacred, Jesus leads by lofty example. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy,” he preached, right up until the final moments of his own unjust execution.

Mercy, sadly, seems to be a precious commodity in the Bible belt right now, where too many of the same fervent defenders of life continue to sanction the death penalty as a “necessary and just” punishment that shouldn’t be theirs to dish out.

 

104 comments

  1. Don says:

    The problem is in the terms. Every single “pro life” individual I have ever met, after some probing questions, turns out NOT to be pro-life. but rather Pro-Birth. Which, in turn, makes it easy for them to be pro-death penalty. They couldn’t care less about the life of the child after its born.

  2. Kirk says:

    An article about Christian hypocracy? What about so called liberal hypocracy? Insisting on taxpayer funding for the murder of unborn children while supporting sanctuary cities that harbor illegal aliens that murder our citizens?

    1. Don says:

      “the murder of unborn children ” — Called it! These “pro-lifers” aren’t Pro Life at all, they are Pro Birth! Thanks that, Kirk.

    2. Don says:

      What about so called conservative illiteracy? (it’s spelled HYPOCRISY)

    3. Bob says:

      Maybe I’m not reading correctly but it sounds almost like you are inferring that liberals cannot be Christians by definition. Choice is choice whether its execution or abortion. That’s what I’m understanding the author to be saying. Maybe it’s all about the judging and not so much principled compassion that divides this country in half. Of course, maybe I’m wrong.

    4. Michelle Teeter says:

      Racist much? I hope you are not a minister.

      1. Kirk says:

        “Racist much?” What was racist about my post? I didn’t mention race one tiny little bit. I hope you get well soon because at the moment you are obviously brain dead.

        1. Reverend Krystina S. says:

          I agree with Michelle Teeter. Your designation of “sanctuary cities” is factually incorrect, as those undocumented people who commit such crimes are NOT part of the Sanctuary movement, and are much more likely to be murdered than to commit crimes, anyway. If you would read your Bible, you would note that LIFE actually begins AFTER the first breath is taken AFTER birth is completed. Before that, not so. But using the Bible to condemn others is so much easier. And what about being against birth control, which is not abortion? Where is the intelligence in that? You, Kirk, are not just a Christofascist, but also shaky on your “Bible.”

        2. Val Jester says:

          Kirk, anything a liberal finds offensive is automatically labeled racism. Hence, everything is racist.

          1. Travis says:

            Therefore condemning any immigration that does not follow legal processes is automatically considered racist.

        3. michelle says:

          “sanctuary cities that harbor illegal aliens that murder our citizens” Is racist. The fact that you do not recognize that says a lot about you. But I would not expect the religious right to admit to that. I find it so sad and I pity people like you. AS a minister I will pray for you. My god open your heart and release you from the hate that fills your heart. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen

          1. Iconoclast says:

            You are insane. That has nothing at all to do with race. You should really look up race and racism. While you are doing so, maybe you should look up hate and self-righteousness.

    5. Ben says:

      Kirk ,,, the Christian hypocrisy is rampant these days. Banning abortions, but lacking the Christian Charity (as decreed by Christ) to help take care of these unwanted children. So as to wait until the child grows up to be a criminal you can have him executed then.
      Goes with not punishing any of those priests who raped countless children, even though it breaks the 10 commandments.
      As for illegals killing citizens. Do some fact checking. Citizens literally kill millions more citizens then the handful of illegals have.?
      Lastly about what percent of your taxes goes for paying for abortions? Any idea? Probably less then a penny per year? Are you going to begrudge a woman a penny?

      1. Michelle says:

        “For if you suffer your people to be ill-educated, and their manners to be corrupted from their infancy, and then punish them for those crimes to which their first education disposed them, what else is to be concluded from this, but that you first make thieves and then punish them ” I love that Utopian quote. The right seems to forget what Christ demands of his followers. They will not admit that a white american born man is more likely to kill me than an illegal brown man from someplace else. Now as a women, I am cautious around all men.
        Maybe the fact that I grew up poor I can be empathetic. When I say poor I mean going to bed, school, everywhere hungry. I do not understand how the religious right just don’t care about the poor. How can a religious person, no matter the religion, turn their backs on the needy. Alluding to the fact that illegals are violent. Now with Trump it gives people the idea it is ok.

      2. BethKCZ says:

        The Hyde Amendment takes away ALL government funding for abortions. Period. Regardless of the circumstances.

      3. Mark Hannon says:

        Right. I think ending poverty, abuse and ignorance throughout a child’s life should be a priority to people that claim to be “Pro-Life(Birth)”.

      4. John Owens says:

        So, exactly whom is lacking the Christian charity to “help take care of these unwanted children.” Who said they are unwanted? Here’s an idea: Tell them to stop having unprotected sex or pay for their own abortions.

        Who does not want to punish the priests who raped children?

        If our own citizens kill plenty of people, why do we need to import more killers? Have you ever asked yourself that?

        “Begrudge a woman a penny?” That argument is juvenile. No one should be forced to pay to help anyone else kill babies. Period. “Probably less than a penny a year?” From whose arse did you pull that made-up statistic?

    6. Ministers of love and acceptance says:

      You equate illegal people to Murders. You should look at the stats if you can. You may be too blind to see the truth. Legal citizens are more likely to commit murder. My guess is you think these guys who shoot up gay clubs is not bad. That he is doing God’s work. The white guy shooting up music venues is just misunderstood because they are white. If you are a Christian remember your savior was not white so check yourself.

      1. John Owens says:

        The legal citizens at least have a right to be here. The illegal people do NOT. What is your mental block with that concept?

  3. Kathleen Baird says:

    The “ProLife” people make access to birth control expensive and/or difficult. They don’t want welfare or food stamps for a woman struggling to feed a child that she did not, or was unable to abort.
    These people are NOT ProLife: they are only ProBirth!

  4. Nick says:

    Kirk, yours is a common misunderstanding of sanctuary cities. They do not harbor murders or those committing crimes except… law enforcement will not hold a person for ICE if they have not committed a crime a citizen would not be charged with.

    https://americasvoice.org/blog/what-is-a-sanctuary-city/

  5. JOLENE MARCELLA TRAVIS says:

    Women don’t impregnate themselves. Want to end abortions??? Then the men need to take extra care to not knock up women.

  6. Travis says:

    On the contrary.

    It is true that the Death Penalty should be taken seriously, and should not be taken frivolously. The Death Penalty should be reserved strictly for criminals with no remorse or hope of redemption. The Death Penalty should never be used as a standard go-to punishment, but should be used as a last resort.

    With the exception of certifiably insane criminals, all of these hardened, non-repentant monsters know that committing murder is morally wrong. They commit their crime, knowing that they will be punished severely for such grievous acts, and yet they do it anyway, accepting the eventual consequences of their depravity.

    However, the Death Penalty is indeed a “Pro-Life” phenomena.

    Hardened, unrepentant, remorseless serial killers are sentanced to death for a very viable reason: to protect the lives of the people who remain alive in society.

    Many criminals on Death Row are hardened and remorseless. They have no value for human life and are not sorry for the deaths they have caused. Some even thrill in the excitement of taking human lives, and do not regret their savagery. No amount of therapy, sensitivity, or coddling will ever turn these monsters away from their brutal cruelties.

    These savage criminals owe a life for the lives they took, which don’t belong to them.

    Pardoning criminals such as these only releases these monsters back into society allows them opportunity to return to their ways and brutally murder more innocent people. In releasing these savage criminals, the lives countless thousands or millions of innocent are at risk. Many more senseless murders. Many more lives lost. Releasing these criminals shows a lack of value for the lives of the people that remain.

    Now, consider the families of the original victims.
    To coddle and hand-slap a remorseless, brutal murderer only cheapens the value of the life of their murdered loved-one, in their eyes. By not taking the life of a savage murderer in return, we are saying that the murderer’s life has more intrinsic value than that of the victim.

    Obviously, not every Death Row criminal gets directly released back into society instead of being executed.
    Most mass murderers denied the death penalty get incarcerated into prison for life; some are stockades where prisoners are subjected to daily hard labor. In which case, their continued life is supported by hard-earned resources taken from law-abiding citizens without their consent (through taxes). A luxury that the aforementioned victims don’t get the priviledge of.

    Now, consider the fact that not all prisons out there are hard labor stockades. There are actual prisons out there that offer prisoners a large window in their cells with a beautiful view of the surrounding wilderness, televisions, cushioned beds and chairs, laundry services, corridors and cells with well kept white walls and marble floors, raquetball courts, libraries, and the like. Although these criminals are still confined within the prison walls, they live a lavish life equivalent to that of a millionaire that their victims had no hope of achieving, all at the expense of your average, hard-working, law-abiding taxpayer.

    In essense, we are rewarding hardened, remorseless, savage criminals, for making the CHOICE to savagely and brutally take the LIFE of innocent, law-abiding people, with a very lavish and posh life of luxury, paid for at the expense of good people who may not want their hard-earned resources to be used to reward murderous criminals for devriving their victims of the chance to earn their own luxuries through hard work.

    I certainly don’t want my resources used to spoil criminals.

    So, by supporting the Death Penalty, I show the value of the lives of the victims over (if not equal to) the lives of the criminals who show no value for human life, and benefit from that lack of value.

    The Death Penalty IS a Pro-Life punishment.

  7. pontotocbill says:

    You get the facts wrong. I amnot pro-life and a supporter of the death penalty. Here is why. Pro-life: abortion is the killing of a human life. This life has never done anything wrong and is a totally innocent live. To abort a fetus is, in my opinion, murder. Abortion is killing a human life that did not commit any crime, made no decision, or imposed harm on another human life. Pro Death Penalty: the criminal sentenced to death has taken a human life without cause. The criminal made a decision to end another human’s life. With t:-)he death penalty, we restore the sanctity of human life. The criminal is put to death for a crime they willingly committed which resulted in the taking of an innocent human life.

  8. Janice Ellery says:

    Supporting abortion while opposing the death sentence can also be viewed as an inconsistent moral stance. This site definitely has a more liberal, atheistic stance. Their right to have their view but at least they should be more honest about it.

    1. Michelle Teeter says:

      Explain.

      1. Reverend Krystina S. says:

        Liberal, therefore athiest??? Moral inconsistency??? You mean, like being against abortion in all circumstances, being PRO GUN, and being PRO death penalty??? People of Faith are NOT just Right wing Radicals. Christans are NOT just “Conservatives” who are “prolife progun prodeath(penalty)” How dare you put “Real” Christians in YOUR box???

      2. Val Jester says:

        It is very simple. One human is blameless. The other is found guilty by his peers. So simple even a cave woman can understand it.

        1. Ministers of love and acceptance says:

          And all the innocent that have been freed from death row? Many of the men out there would not be there today. Racist people help put these men in prison eye witnesses that we know or unreliable put them there DNA is setting them free. But some innocent men have been put to death. Until it is fool proof it needs to stop.

          1. John Owens says:

            So, let’s just not punish anybody for anything, because we may later find out they are ALL innocent. Don’t put armed robbers in prison– THEY MAY BE INNOCENT! Don’t make people pay speeding tickets– THEY MAY BE INNOCENT! Do you see how illogical your “logic” is?

          2. John Owens says:

            BTW, have those aborted babies been proven worthy of death?

    2. Gail D says:

      Substitute “women’s rights” for “abortion” in your first statement; see if that clears up the facts for you.

  9. power to the people says:

    Killing the unborn or killing a murderer aretqwo different things.

    That not “hypocracy”.

    1. Stephanie Willey says:

      Exactly HOW are they different things?

      1. power to the people says:

        Hmmmmm….let’s see……killing an unborn child who is innocent, and killing a murderer……I dunno, I can’t see how those two are different in any way.

        wow.

        1. Carl Elfstrom says:

          Killing people who are not trying to kill you or others at the time they are killed is murder,whether it can otherwise be justified in our minds ,or not.

          1. Travis says:

            Do you have any idea how retarded that sounds?

            “I kill someone…. Whoop! I’m not killing anyone anymore, you can’t punish me!…….
            I kill someone……. Whoop! not killing anymore, you can’t punish me!
            I kill another person…….. Whoop! Now, I’m not!
            Another person dead…….. Whoop! Tata! Don’t murder me!
            Whoops! I killed another person!….. Can’t stop me from killing a lot of people!
            Oh, dear. Now I’m in prison. But that’s okay. I get free room and board, paid for by the taxpayers. Such a shame my victims don’t get to eat such delicious slop in the mess hall! I get to live and they don’t, so my life here in jail is more valuable than theirs.”

            The definition of murder is “the unlawful killing of a human being by another human being with malice aforethought”.

            Being a form of legalized punishment, the Death Penalty is VERY lawful, and therefore not murder.

            Technically, (unfortunately) so is Abortion.

            Both Abortion and the Death Penalty are legal and lawful. The difference is an unborn child is innocent and deserves to be allowed to live, while a murderer had forfeited his right to live by taking a life that doesn’t belong to him/her.

            Ironically, anyone who supports Abortion and is against the Death Penalty has no Morality or value for innocent human life.

    2. Ben says:

      Very true. Biologically an unborn is a parasite feeding on it’s host the mother and she has the right to get rid of that parasite or have it be born into a human.
      Killing a murderer is waiting until that unaborted parasite becomes a human and grows up before killing it.

      1. Michelle says:

        I am not totally against the death penalty. The problem is too many innocent people have been killed.

        1. John Owens says:

          What about all the innocent babies?

  10. The Pastor/ Been thete, done that says:

    It’s KILLING. WHAT PART OF THAT DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND.
    And it’s really stupid. If you kill the inmate it’s ovet for him, he doesn’t suffer any more. Yet the families of who ever HE killed have to live with the pain of loss.
    NO I think locking him up in a tiny cell by himself with no tv radio books is worse puishment.
    And then he will have to eat the prison food that will most likely kill him anyway. Have you ever eatten prison food? I have. Let me tell you it’s not like mom never made. Cold most of the time. The hard boiled eggs have
    GREEN yokes. The burger is more like a hockey puck made of soy bean not beef. The soup is
    MUS GO. Made from everything in the frig that MUST GO. And just what gives us the right to kill someone anyway? The Bible says THOU SHALT NOT. HASN’T ANYONE EVEN LOOKED AT THE BIBLE?

  11. Tom says:

    Respectfully, it appears to me that those that are “pro-life”, but support capital punishment, are setting themselves up as God, so they can make decisions as to who lives and who dies…and that is without even getting into the various circumstances as to the nature of why one person killed another…it is not loving and compassionate for people to choose who lives and who dies…is foregiveness, or even tolerance, for people to categorize?…are there caveats to principles?…Peace…Tom

  12. Sister Ann says:

    The true translation (not transliteration) of the 6th commandment is “You shall not MURDER”, not KILL. That is a very important distinction. Murder is deliberate, even planned (abortion). Killing often involves circumstances, such as protecting your own life or the life of another, or tragically accidental. There is nothing accidental about murder.
    So, I contend that there IS NO HYPOCRISY in upholding the death penalty while upholding the right to life of the unborn.
    GENESIS: 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being. 6 “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.

  13. Memirsbrunnr (@Memirsbrunnr) says:

    They are not pro life they are pro procreation. Most pf these Christians are just applying modern versions of the Cistercian abbott Arnaud Amalricus argument in the crusade against the albigensians, “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius” or colloquial “kill them all and let god sort them out”. He will decide of they go to Hell or heaven when they are guilty of we accuse them off.

  14. Geoffrey Olive says:

    How was the execution of Jesus ‘unjust’ if this was God’s plan to save sinners from the original sin?
    Something doesn’t make sense here!

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      God realized that it would take people unjustly murdering Jesus for his plan to be fulfilled. That made those people no less guilty of murdering Christ. And God put those particular evil people in their particular positions of authority above him so God would have a righteous reason for sending them to hell where they were on their way to going anyway, through no fault of his, but their own. God knew of their sinful natures, and needed such sinners to fulfil his plan, so he used them for that.

    2. Val Jester says:

      Are you trying to make sense of the plan of salvation?

      1. Ben says:

        Your god is all knowing and all powerful. Why did god let his only son be tortured and murdered? Why couldn’t he have just waved his hand and in a booming voice announce everyone’s salvation?

        1. Michelle says:

          EXACTLY!!!! I have brought that question up to numerous theologians not one could give me an answer. If he is all powerful he would NEED a person to be tortured and killed to save his people. NOT to mention The guy we say is Christ was not the only person to claim to have been born of a virgin or preformed miracles, or as I like to call them Parlor tricks.

          1. power to the people says:

            First, I’d like to say; if you brought up that question to “numerous theologians” and none could give you the answer, either they weren’t much a theologian, or you just didn’t want to accept their answer.

            If he is all powerful he wouldn’t NEED a person to be “tortured and killed”, but rather he “tortured and killed a person” so those blind and stupid would get the impact of it and get their s h i t together.

            He knew he was dealing with humans.

            Finally, ANYBODY can claim parlor tricks or virgin birth……..

        2. power to the people says:

          Ben- you must not get the mechaninisim of salvation.

          Plus, God is not a gray old man sitting on a throne of light and possesing a Ving Rhames like voice.

          1. Don says:

            “power to the people” — Sounds like you are the one who doesn’t get Salvation.

            It’s a Parlor Trick. For God so loved the world that He sent Himself to earth, to sacrifice Himself to Himself to fix a mess He created in the first place (see Genesis Chapter 3).

            It’s a con. Grow up and stop being conned.

          2. power to the people says:

            🙂

          3. Ben says:

            P2P no, I don’t get it. Probably because I’m not a Christian and don’t need to be saved.
            Especially since your Christ died for our so called sins. Which means we that we should all permanently be absolved of sin. Yet we’re all still sinners. So Christ died for nothing.

        3. Martha Knight says:

          Old Testament scripture tells about the covenants between the Creator and humankind, and contains numerous accounts of blood covenant ceremonies between God and man, and between humans, and between families, and between groups. “Covenant” was the basis of law, and still is significant in dealing and even foreign policy in much of the east and Africa. We in “the West” are not familiar with Covenant history and language, so we can miss much of the meaning of the words of Jesus and his role as the promised Messiah or Christ, who was to bring the ultimate covenant, the New Covenant (Testament). Blood covenant ceremony calls for the sacrifice of a perfect lamb (or kid or dove or calf), exchange of garments, exchange of names, exchange of weapons, blessings and cursings. The Crucifixion took place on a hillside just opposite the hillside where Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac but instead sacrificed a ram. Jesus was aware of his role in enacting the New Covenant. At the Last Supper, a covenant commemoration meal, he too the Messiah Cup and Messiah bread, normally not consumed but spoken of in terms of promise, and directed the people at the table to drink/eat, and informed them those would no longer be used at some occasions in anticipation of the coming Messiah, but in REMEMBRANCE. The Messiah was to be able to remit or cancel past sin and provide grace for new sin when there was repentance (turning away from) sin (opposition to God).
          In the account of the temptation of Jesus during his fast in the desert, after his baptism, he was offered power to rule on earth, and other blandishments, if he would renounce his ministry and role as messiah, and he rejected each offer with a reason. The offers were made with reasons provided in quotations from scripture, and Jesus refused also using scripture as his reasons. We are told that he WAS tempted, not just that the attempt was made. There was struggle or effort involved. Exercising his human free will, Jesus could have renounced his mission. He was able to keep covenant with God and go on with his role as Messiah, bringer of the New Covenant, and as the Lamb of God, the sacrifice.
          Blood Covenant theology/history is the scarlet thread that runs through the OT and NT writings. But we in the west know about as much about covenant as, um, the pop ditty of a few decades ago, “May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose,” which contained parodies of such cursings as might be included in a covenant enactment ceremony.

      2. Geoffrey Olive says:

        Yes

      3. Geoffrey Olive says:

        Yes, and the usual reply, “God works in mysterious ways.”, is not an acceptable answer to most theological arguments that do not have an answer that makes sense!

        1. power to the people says:

          Just because it doesn’t make sense to you or the answer is not what you wanted to hear, doesn’t make it wrong.

          Plus, I’ve only heard that line in movies, or from someones grandma.

          1. Carl Elfstrom says:

            Actually, the song goes “She moves in mysterious ways”,and is referring to the Goddess, not the God. Blessed be !

  15. Carl Elfstrom says:

    I’ve heard that an abortion can be performed at home, in secrecy, using nothing but a wire clothes hanger. And those really dont cost much, other than a guilty conscience for having taken an innocent life, before It got started. And who wants to live with one of those? I can’t understand how throughout history so many people, many of whom which profess religious faith, can condemn a person to death, as if they were acting as God’s proxy,, like God wasn’t here, so they had the right to act in his behalf. Well, I’ve got news for them. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and the law of karma will prevail over all. Everything will be balanced, regardless of who gave them the legal right to condemn, and whatever they say in their defense. They will pay for their crimes against God, as will the executioner, and those who are executioner for their heinous crimes, as God sees fit, with or without the interjection of others, who only want to see criminals suffer, as they see fit, and blame their selfish, sadistic motives on the good of society .

  16. Martha Knight says:

    Christians claim to be concerned with eternal life, the life and future state of the soul. According to the Genesis account of the Creation, only one creature was touched by the Creator to inspirit him. So humans have souls, God receptors, unlike other creatures.
    Christian scripture also teaches that the soul is immortal, and that God preserves it. Most of scripture speaks of the mortal life of humans as being from birth to death, except for the poetic passage in a psalm where David addresses God as the creator who knit him together in his mother’s womb.
    At what point in a human’s existence would he/she be in the best condition, soul-wise? When he is sinless? A just and merciful God does not banish from his presence forever someone who has never sinner, or willfully opposed God’s will. So if we consider the unborn to be living humans, complete with souls, wouldn’t it follow that a being “killed” in that state goes either into soul sleep awaiting the resurrection followed by eternity with God, or else goes directly to the presence of God (there is Scripture for either outcome)? Either way, eternal life and bliss await.

  17. power to the people says:

    Anyhow, who says that “Christians oppose abortion, but support the death penalty”?

    Did I miss something, or is someone just trying to stir the pot?

    1. power to the people says:

      That’s what I thought.

      I love it when someone says something, puts it out there as “fact” then most people read it as such and swallow it hook line and sinker.

      1. Geoffrey Olive says:

        Sounds exactly like what you are doing by accepting such statements as “God works in mysterious ways” as facts with no evidence. Also called faith!

        1. power to the people says:

          Faith can be a great thing.

          1. power to the people says:

            Except I’m not sure what you think I am swallowing hook, line, and sinker.

          2. John Owens says:

            He’s just harping.

  18. Antonia Blue Star says:

    … WAR

  19. William Waugh says:

    Abortion access is a population control tool. Too too many opportunities for pregnacies in a free will society. Perhaps all the folks living around the corner will eventually be enlightened enough to only birth babies whose lives have already been carefully planned thru college or beyond. …Capital punishment exists as a moralistic tool. Anyone lacking enough empathy to murder can only be deterred by the concrete knowledge that certain actions will result in death. Get over this petty b.s. and like I heard it said of “trekkies” (Star Trek fans)…… Get out of the house a little. Walk outside. Get a life!

    1. John Owens says:

      Protected sex would give a lot more bang for the buck, and take no innocent babies’ lives, or cause women’s deaths in the process.

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      We’ve got too many people in the world, for crying out loud! Don’t forget about good ol’ masturbation. It works for me.

  20. Gary Hynous says:

    In my opinion, if you take a life you give up your own right to a life. Why should my tax dollars support a murderer or rapist? As for abortion, the only time I can condone it is a pregnancy as a result of rape or if the mother’s life is in jeopardy. Children should be conceived out of love not rape. Whatever part of us that remains to be reborn into a new life would probably decide to find a new mother in the case of rape.

  21. Mark Hannon says:

    I think Jesus stopped the stoning death of a woman that could well have committed the sin she was accused of by following Judaic law. It would have helped if what He was writing in the dirt had been recorded.
    Starving and killing children in Syria, Yemen and other wars the U.S.A. is involved in should be wrong to ProLife people but it doesn’t seem to bother them.
    Poor children in the U.S. that aren’t given medicine or medical care can kill children, too. But ProLife people still vote for people that will take this help away from them.
    I struggle with this as a Christian but I also am certain that freewill extends to what a U.S. citizen does with their own body.

    1. power to the people says:

      Mark- As for your last line:

      Heroin addicts have been trying to abort themselves for years, but now we have that damn NARCAN so we can stop then from doing what they want with their U.S. citizen bodies. Oh, and speaking oif bodies…..what about the unborn baby? Why can’t they do what they want with their body?

      1. Michelle Teeter says:

        So addicts do not deserve to live. Good to know

      2. Mark Hannon says:

        How do we know that if they had full consciousness of their future that they wouldn’t want to choose to not be born? I am considering birth defects and children born with pain or to abusive parents. To me it’s all a matter of a person’s stage of understanding.
        While attending a fundamentalist Baptist church as a teenager I was told that children under a certain age were allowed direct entry to heaven but after reaching a stage of knowledge they needed to accept Christ’s grace or they would go to hell.
        Now I believe that people grow in their relationship and understanding of God in their lives.

  22. Mark Hannon says:

    Also, I am a very liberal person that leans Christian, I have had the born again experience and I am an organist in a Christian church. I see myself as more one God for all in nature.
    I would like to see an alternative to abortion like funding for good homes or group living but conservatives don’t want to pay for that option. I can’t see how voting for them would bring about a real change as long as the military is more important than the country the military is supposed to protect.

  23. Ministers of love and acceptance says:

    I really hope the people posting here are not ministers! I hope they do not claim to be Christian either. The people here are not only unkind but downright hateful. ULC is about love and acceptance. Maybe I should not come hear to be around good decent loving people. I have read many articles posted by ULC and the comments are typically filled with hateful people, most of which sound live they are right wing conservatives. Why would they be on a religious site that is all about acceptance of all? The right wing conservatives tend to only accept Christians.

    1. Ben says:

      After watching the news and reading the posts of Christians here; I find them to be the most hateful and intolerant people in America.
      Glad I’m not one of them. Christians frighten me.

      1. Mark Hannon says:

        I have the same problems with Christianity. I feel like I belong to a pre-Abrahamic religion that may not even be monotheistic but probably is.

      2. Iconoclast says:

        Ridiculous and untrue.

        1. Iconoclast says:

          What sorcery is this?

        2. Ben says:

          Iconoclast prove me wrong. There’s the crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, slavery in the USA was permitted because of Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, VI, 5-7: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”
          How about the burning times? Lastly anti-lbgtq actions which Christians promote because of Leviticus, but won’t stone the president to death as an adulterer, even though Leviticus demands that too.
          How about “Christian Identity” which is the name of a religious movement uniting many of the white supremacist groups in the United States?
          Prove me wrong.

    2. John Owens says:

      They all hope you grow a brain.

  24. Ben says:

    Conservatives: Our laws should be based on the Bible!
    Me: So you support stoning Donald Trump for adultery?

    Conservatives: Wait

  25. Travis says:

    It is actually pretty simple for a person to be Pro-Life and to support the Death Penalty, at the same time, with one simple fact.

    Allowing hardened, remorseless serial murderers to continue living (even on taxpayer resources) cheapens the intrinsic value of the victims’ lives, and devalues the Justice system in the eyes of the friends and families of the murdered victims. Brutal murderers took lives that did not belong to them, so they owe a life in return as payment; namely their own.

    1. Mark Hannon says:

      You should research the Swedish form of imprisonment. It is more humane and much cheaper than our system and it has proven results.

      1. Ministers of love and acceptance says:

        But then no one would be getting rich on private prisons. You the religious right are very fond or them

        1. Travis says:

          I am not a member of the so-called “religious right”.

          The “religious right” would call me a heretic for the things I take to be true.

          I’m merely describing how it can be possible for someone to be against Abortion (Pro-Life), while at the same time supporting the Death Penalty.

          Just because a person supports something as a necessity of Justice does not necessarily mean they are “fond” of it.

          Not all parents who spank their children are “fond” of seeing their child in pain, but they recognize the need to teach them the consequences of their actions. Without that, the children grow up to become either spoiled welfare junkies or criminals with no respect for societal law.

          1. Martha Knight says:

            There is much evidence to show that inflicting physical pain or humiliation on children does not advance their moral development. It is a way of modeling bullying behavior. Evidence also shows little if any correlation between likelihood of becoming dependent on welfare or social services and not having been spanked or otherwise subjected to pain as a child. Respect for the justice system comes from observing careful and effective operations of law enforcement of laws and operation of the justice and corrections systems. But we do see much evidence that parental neglect and/or abuse harm children in their character development and are lead to criminal behavior.

      2. Travis says:

        Right, so….

        We are discussing criminals who take preasure in going around, brutally murdering and raping people with no apology, nor sense of remorse. These criminals thrill in the excitement of committing brutal and savage murder, and do not feel sorry, in the least. These thugs have no sense of the anguish that the friends and families, of the people whose lives the criminal has taken. They care even less of this anguish that they inflict on the living.
        Criminals who commit the most inhumane of acts against innocent human beings.

        Denying the families of the Justice of repaying the victim’s life with that of the criminal, only rewards the criminal for committing inhumane attrocities, teaches violent criminals that it is okay to commit murder, and devalues the live of the innocent murdered victim(s).

        Why does a person who commits brutally inhumane murders deserve especially humane treatment?

        1. Carl Elfstrom says:

          Why don’t you ask your God about that, Travis? I think he wants us to love and forgive unconditionally, and leave the punishing to him. He may have made us in his image, but didn’t make us to be he himself. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Killing a defenseless murderer in a straightjacket on death row makes you a murderer. And don’t think God won’t justly reward you for that, or or even for agreeing with it. How would you like to find yourself face to face with the murderer you killed, when both of you are in Hell for committing relentless murders, in a steel cage, no holds barred match that lasts forever, despite all the people who encouraged you, and said you did a good thing, for the good of society, so they won’t have to pay for him to have three hots and a cot. They don’t pay those convicts much for making license plates or whatever. Have you considered the profit that is made off of you them. Society is being paid in full, and a lot more, by all that slave labor in prison. Frying murderers means losing valuable workers, who will gladly work for a little commissary money, and a constructive activity. Tax dollars are used for far more than housing prisoners.

        2. Martha Knight says:

          Because nor one of us is qualified or entitled to determine the degree of guilt pertaining to another, nor when his/her opportunity to repent should be cut off. As Jesus said to the group of men intent on executing a sinner, the sinless would be qualified to judge and execute the sinner. Jesus was the bringer of the New Covenant, as it had been promised and foretold the Messiah would do. When he said he had fulfilled (not broken) the Law (basis of the Mosaic Covenant), he included the part of needing to atone for past sins, and Christian doctrine maintains, sins of others, then living and on into the future.
          Other Christian doctrine maintains that vengeance belongs to God, and will be based on judgments made at the last Judgment. And that people now may relate to God under the New Covenant, the Covenant of Grace. God’s grace toward humans permits the remission of their sins. God alone knows the condition of their souls and their status as to covenant with God and eternal reward.
          The ending of another life does nothing to restore the loss of family and friends, or the community at large or society, from the criminal taking of a life. The concept of “closure” is artificial. To assign guilt and punish a person found guilty can be considered justice or closure. Christian doctrine denies that the old standard of an eye for an eye is valid under the New Covenant or modern times, and certainly that is not the basis of modern punishment.

          1. John Owens says:

            So, no one should ever be punished again for anything? That is where your logic is leading.

  26. Bob Hilton says:

    To live is to kill, consuming life about…plant & animal, humans by extension. To live is to die and be consumed by plant and animal, humans by extension. It’s what we do; life. Our souls, eternal or not, divide the holy circle of life into living or dead, good and evil, cause and effect. Ask your dog or your apple tree, who exist in the same circle of life as do us, of their views on abortion or murder. Tell OUR special story to the living Earth! Remind GOD how clever we are! Do whatever it takes to argue and blind our experience to participate in the holy grails of NOW. Meaningless? Immoral? Irresponsible? Or GLORY and BLISS, the point of conscious existence? Ours to wrestle, ours to sing…It’s fun living as a Christian Don Quixote!

  27. Tom says:

    ULC/Joseph…where are my comments?????…Peace… Tom

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Tom, they still sometimes delete some of my comments too, and moderate all of them. They’ve been doing that ever since that article about Billy Graham, when I wrote some very bad things about him. Although my comments have very much improved since then, and they publish a lot more of my comments than not, some of them don’t make it. However, in retrospect, I almost always realize they were right, and reminds me that this is not a free for all, and if they don’t think something sounds right for what we are discussing, it doesn’t get published. So, I take it in stride, or grin and bear it, and suggest you do the same. We’ve been posting comments on this blog now longer than most, and it makes me wonder what happened to the others. Did they get pissed off about the good ol’ ULC not posting all of their comments, or did the ULC quit posting any of their comments. Maybe they get tired of us, and want to hear from a new batch of ministers, with different ideas. Whatever the case I’m glad we’re still hanging in there. You write a lot of good things that I appreciate reading. Peace… Love… .

      1. Tom says:

        Carl…thank you…my feeling is that if we do not curse or encourage violence the comments should appear…i know of no standard setting a rule for the applicability of comments…i appreciate your continuing to be part of the blog…Peace…Tom

        1. power to the people says:

          Just be assured that the comments you try to post could be “moderated” by whatever left wingy troll that happens to be on the job that day.

          😉

  28. Mark Hannon says:

    I have wondered about this and many aspects of the subject of abortion. After commenting yesterday I got to thinking this morning about the idea that there wasn’t really a Pro Life (Birth) movement before Roe v. Wade but abortions have been happening for all of human history.
    Women knew what herbs to take to cause miscarriages and midwives knew how to end pregnancy even pre-Abraham.
    Does the Bible not reference this because women weren’t allowed to interact with the men working with the Bible. And this was something they didn’t especially want the men to know about.

  29. Carl Elfstrom says:

    Mark Hannon, Seriously speaking, you or someone reading this ought to write a book about those herbs that induce miscarriage. I’m sure a lot of women don’t know about that, and it would be the perfect solution to avoiding getting abortions. It would undoubtedly be a bestseller, and you would undoubtedly make millions (if you get a good publisher) !

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      P.S. If you don’t get a good publisher your publisher will make your millions and give you chump change, but at least you’ll be famous, and published.

    2. Mark Hannon says:

      You could already Google it.
      Dong Quai, Black Cohosh, Blue Cohosh, Penny Royal, Golden Seal are some. These and other herbs are called “abortifacient” which is Latin for a substance that induces abortion.
      Check with a nature witch for amounts.
      I live in the Hiawatha National Forest and even with my modest knowledge of herbs I can find useful plants.

  30. Travis Wilbur says:

    Wow. What a shark tank of vultures.

    Seems like Christians can’t even find moral refuge on a religious website devoted to reliogious harmony in spite of moral differences.

    I don’t claim to be Christian, but Damn! You guys make the ancient Roman colliseums seem like Bar Mitzvahs!

    Bravo!

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